GAME STORY: Jaguars 15, Falcons 13

Quarterback Matt Ryan was under pressure against Jacksonville on Friday. (Associated Press)

Quarterback Matt Ryan was under pressure against Jacksonville on Friday. (Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE – If there was any remaining doubt about wide receiver Harry Douglas’ knee, he put it to rest with his second scintillating performance of the exhibition season.

Douglas sparked an otherwise shoddy offensive performance with a 76-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the 15-13 loss to the Jaguars at EverBank Field on Friday night.

The Falcons dropped to 0-2, while Jacksonville, which was humiliated by New England 47-12 in its last outing, moved to 1-1 in the exhibition season.

“It just seemed like we were out of sync offensively,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.  ”We have some things that we definitely have to correct and that’s what the preseason is for.”

Other than Douglas’ big play, the Falcons did not mount another touchdown drive. Also, they failed to take full advantage of great field position after two first-quarter turnovers.

“When we get the ball on the plus-side of the 50, we have to make some hay and get some points,” Smith said.

The starters played the entire first half and could amass just three first downs. Running back Michael Turner had seven carries for 14 yards.  Julio Jones had two catches. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez had one catch each.

On Jacksonville’s opening possession, cornerback Brent Grimes intercepted Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard and returned the pick 62 yards.

The offense had the ball at the Jaguars’ 42. They picked up one first down, but the drive stalled at Jacksonville’s 21. Kicker Matt Bryant put the Falcons ahead 3-0 with a 40-yard field goal.

On Jacksonville’s ensuing possession, wide receiver Cecil Shorts fumbled on a reverse. After a mad scramble, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon recovered the ball at the Jaguars’ 37-yard line.

The promising drive stalled after Ryan was called for intentional grounding on third-and-2 from Jacksonville’s 31.

“Our defense did a great job,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “As an offense, we always like to capitalize on those turnovers.”

 Punter Matt Bosher came on and booted a 50-yard punt when the Falcons wanted him to pin the Jaguars inside the 20.

Jacksonville put together a 13-play drive that was capped by Josh Scobee’s 26-yard field goal to tie the score, 3-3.

There was an exchange of punts before Douglas got loose. On a third-and-5, Douglas was open over the middle, he shook a defender and then broke outside. Jones gave him a block and Douglas was sprinting up the sideline for the score.

“I’m here to do whatever they ask me to do — inside, outside, slot — whatever,” Douglas said. “I love the offense.”

Douglas also had a nice touchdown grab last week against Miami.

The Falcons added a field goal in the third quarter to move ahead 13-3. But like in the exhibition opener when they blew a 17-0 lead, the reserves couldn’t hold off the Jaguars.

The Jaguars added two quick field goals, one after Antone Smith fumbled on a kickoff return and then received a fourth quarter touchdown pass from Luke McCown to wide receiver Armon Binns to move ahead. They held on for the victory.

Cornerback Dominique Franks, who is having a spectacular training camp, started for Dunta Robinson. He played strong, but missed a couple of tackles during Jacksonville’s touchdown drive.

“I left some plays out there that I should of have made, but that’s something that I can correct,” Franks said. “I need to get a better feel for what receivers like to do in certain coverages.”

It was Franks most extensive action as the Falcons are trying to decide who’s their No. 3 cornerback. Franks was getting his chance to move past Christopher Owens.

“I didn’t want to look at that too closely and get myself over-excited,” Franks said. “I just wanted to go out there and make plays. I should have made those two missed tackles. They were big on that drive to take the lead. That’s something that is easily corrected.”

Franks doesn’t need to beat himself up for the missed tackles. He wasn’t the only defender missing tackles. Some contend that the lack of live tackling in practice leads to those type of plays in the preseason.

“We have to just get back in there and get more reps to get really focused on tackling,” middle linebacker Curtis Lofton said. “We don’t do enough tackling. When we get out there, it’s preseason and you know guys are not ready for that.”

The Falcons will now point to their third exhibition game at Pittsburgh next Saturday.

The game will be heavily anticipated as defensive end Ray Edwards, the team’s prized free agent signee who is recovering from knee surgery, may make his Atlanta debut. 

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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167 comments Add your comment


August 19th, 2011
11:24 pm


August 19th, 2011
11:39 pm


August 19th, 2011
11:40 pm

Nope did not look that great on 1st tem offense but it is the preseason…


August 19th, 2011
11:47 pm

did i come in first?


August 19th, 2011
11:48 pm

i like matt ryan in this game, he looked good. and ready for the season.

Falkin Phraud

August 19th, 2011
11:51 pm

Buzzards were a fake 13-3 in 2010, exposed in their one & only playoff game. In 2011, it won’t take that long. Real NFL experts (none of which are in Atlanta) were not and are not impressed.


August 19th, 2011
11:55 pm

so its the preseason when will they “practice” throwing the deep ball…im seeing the same stuff as last season, “play action dump the ball under neath”


August 19th, 2011
11:58 pm

it was a shaky game for the first team offense but let me tell you the defense play very well fast,making plays i gosh we had 2 more turnovers thats a good nose for the football


August 20th, 2011
12:04 am

Soon to be the new “Los Angeles Jaguars”…………………


August 20th, 2011
12:04 am


August 20th, 2011
12:07 am

Yeah- not a very impressive showing on the Falcons part. Offense looked pretty bad minus the 76 yarder. The O-line was awful and the D can pressure but never seems to be able to seal the deal. Scoring only 13 points on these guys is embarrassing. 3rd down playcalling was bad as well. Falcons second preseason game= BIG FAIL


August 20th, 2011
12:09 am

if you think the plodding, “get a lead and see if we can run out the clock” offense will change with the addition of jones and another year of experience for ryan, I have just one word for you– Mulark(e)y!


August 20th, 2011
12:12 am

I thought I was watching a Georgia Football Game at first….granted its preseason. It kind of amazes me that some of the plays look like Bobo was down there in spirit calling plays for the Falcons. 3rd and 2nd and your trying to throw the ball deep. Swear I have seen that somewhere before….just saying

Tyrone Shulaces

August 20th, 2011
12:21 am

If yall don’t get Burnt Toast #21 off the field, you’re gonna be 4-12


August 20th, 2011
12:23 am

I am still waiting for Matty Ice to live up to the hype!He just don’t seem to have the juice to make this O purr.I want him to be the MAN,but something is just missing from his game.He just don’t have that “it”.He has the pieces,but can he put it all together?I know,he just don’t put it in the end-zone enough for me.He leaves too many points on the field and we kick too many field goals.C’mon Matty,please be what they say you are,one of the top 100.LOL.


August 20th, 2011
12:25 am

Pre-season is for preparation ONLY….we’re not calling plays you would see in those situations on purpose nobody in here is a successful O.C so press your top and bottom lips together HARD!!!!


August 20th, 2011
12:27 am

The Good = Harry Douglass & Quizz
The Bad = O-Line
The Ugly = Tackling

How can you practice throwing deep when the pass rush is in the QB’s face all night?


August 20th, 2011
12:37 am

Faulkin Phraud you’z a funny dude we were exposed because Green Bay had to fight to get in so they stayed in attack mode the entire playoffs we coasted in and had a bye….bad combo!! Falcons will do good to finish 12-4 with the competition in our division see you last game of the NFL seeaon my PHRAUD friend


August 20th, 2011
12:46 am

The falcons gambled on 2 year players coming around and they are not coming around ! Let the eagles nab everybody, while they sat idlely by gambling on rookies and second year players ! So damn fustrating ! :mad:


August 20th, 2011
12:48 am


you think they will win12 games ?! :???:

Who Me?

August 20th, 2011
12:57 am

Matt’s problem is two-fold. He checks off to quick and he does NOT like to get hit. I would’ve thought by now he’d have figured out the same thing the announcers were yakkin’ about Gabberd – move up in the pocket, not roll and check off. His rookie year he was fearless and made clutch play after clutch play staying in the pocket and releasing the ball at the last possible moment. I guess the QB coaches told him that was going to be a career limiting way to play because he’s been a puss for the last 18 months.

i know I know, the o-line isn’t exactly causing people to want their autographs but they should start to gel shortly right? And it did look eerily similar to Mike Bobo’s offense at UGA though now that I think about it.


August 20th, 2011
1:32 am

Will somebody please teach the Falcons how to tackle?? The reserve defense was horrible about wrapping up the offensive player. Please tell them a big hit is worthless if they don’t hold onto the guy with the ball. (Deep Breath) Okay this was the 2nd preseason game. I can hope the lack of physical contact conditioning and keeping the really good plays in the weeds are the problem. The reserves and special teams are my big concerns right now. The 3rd game against Pittsburgh should be telling.

Okay Falcons. . . I’ve been a fan since 66. I’m not giving up now. But please show a big spark next week!


August 20th, 2011
3:19 am

There’s nothing to worry about concerning the Falcons play during the preseason. After all this is pretty much practice and evaluation for the regular season. The expectations are going to be high for the team to advance through the playoff. Of course they were blown out by the Packers at home in the playoffs but people forget the Falcons did beat the Packers at home in the regular season. Haven’t looked at the schedule but hopefully they’ll succeed.


August 20th, 2011
4:31 am

I agree with most, it’s PRE-season so the L is nothing. That being said our tackling was HORRIBLE tonight and it certainly needs improvement our OL wasn’t exactly up to par as well but we didn’t really have our “starting” line up in there so i give them a little bit of slack. Can’t wait to see our DL in there healthy along with Ray Ray on the edge w/ ABE…..I do think Quizz needs a few snaps w/ the 1st string guys though cuz he showed tonight that if he has a little bit of blocking he can show some flash….just my opinion, but I’m not to worried….GO DIRTYBIRDZ!!!


August 20th, 2011
4:57 am

I wasn’t too happy with the dink and dunk passing as well, but I also wasn’t out on the field so I can’t totally disagree with it. As far as it goes in general though, people tend to forget that it is a glorified practice and there is no REAL game planning that goes into these games….Come December you will see that this game was just a practice!!


August 20th, 2011
5:42 am

Come on people stop getting so worked up over preseason!! Every year there are teams that go 4-0 in the pre-season there fans are planning playoff trips then the real season hits them in the gut! 4-12. then there are the teams whos 1s play well but 3s an 4s give it up in the 3rd and 4th quarter. and go 1-3, but the season starts and there 1s click! 12-4! Dont be Rookey Fans!!!


August 20th, 2011
6:01 am

Jacksonville Jaguars second and third string QB’s looked better than Redman. Never mind, Redman didn’t have the opportunity to direct his offense against the Falcons defense.

DC Falconn

August 20th, 2011
6:05 am

@HatinGA I agree with you on the Win/Loss record during Preseason..However, it is not the loss in Pres Season that concerns me…it was the listless play of the O-line..the inability to use offensive weapons White, Jones, Douglas, and Gonzalez effectively. One deep attemp to Jones which was underthrown does not establish a deep threat and back their defense off the line. It is a new NFL you have to establish your ability to throw middle to deep throws to help establish runs otherwise they stack the D-line and stuff the run..which is exactly what teams are doing.

Thomas D.

August 20th, 2011
6:16 am

Where are the passes over 30 yards?

Roddy W.

August 20th, 2011
6:17 am

“Matt’s going to have to throw it down field this year”.
June 2011


August 20th, 2011
7:02 am

Need more Quizz!!!!!!


August 20th, 2011
7:26 am

Thomas D….Matt Ryan can’t throw the ball 30 yds :)

Jimmy Crack

August 20th, 2011
7:34 am

The leaky center line play that was letting rushers in Matt’s face. It shows how valuable Todd McClure is to our offense.

duece coupe

August 20th, 2011
7:38 am

Drove all the way to Jacksonville for a “shoddy offensive performance”.

duece coupe

August 20th, 2011
7:41 am

The Falcon defense did a great job
against a team clobbered 47-12 last week.


August 20th, 2011
7:43 am

It’s preseason

duece coupe

August 20th, 2011
7:45 am

The Falcons might turn Matt Ryan ” Loose ” someday.

duece coupe

August 20th, 2011
7:53 am

Good News ?

The 2007 Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season,
after starting 0-2 in the pre-season.


August 20th, 2011
7:53 am

Uh oh, don’t look now, but that triumphant run to the playoffs just began to show signs of weakness.

Pitiful performance by the offense. Michael Turner looks fat and slow. Offensive line looks inept.

Not much better by the defense.

And against a pretty weak opponent.


August 20th, 2011
7:55 am

My 7:54 post is in the filter!!!


August 20th, 2011
8:08 am

How can Blank and Dimitroff accept an offensive performance like the one we saw last night.

Field goals, time of possession, running yards, explosive talk, and explosive players do not win games.

Running Michael Tuner on first down for one or no yards is not an explosive offense. Haven’t we seen this picture before?

The problem is the offensive coach. When will some one read the riot act to Mike Mularkey and his play calling.

I thought the Falcons had sent Roddy White and Julio Jones home before the game.

This game was a drastic terrible performance for the offense.

It is the same team with the same philosophy as last year and the Falcons will do no better unless this offense changes.



August 20th, 2011
8:19 am

“Matt Ryan and the Falcons Lose Road Game”

I wouldn’t say that. Matt Ryan was done after the first half….

Captain Obvious

August 20th, 2011
8:25 am

Preseason is for analysis, right? Well, let’s analyze.
1) Redman looked more like a starting QB than the starter.
2) Offensive line couldn’t (wouldn’t?) pass protect
3) Defense wouldn’t (couldn’t?) wrap up and tackle
4) AGAIN, the defense couldn’t consistently make stops on third down and LONG
5) Van Gorder is lost and confused as an NFL defensive coordinator
6) Mularkey does not trust his QB…still
7) We’re all sick of hearing who is having a “strong camp.” If they can’t show it against an opponent, then it isn’t very strong, is it?

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


August 20th, 2011
8:39 am

Our receivers are going to be pretty frustrated this year if Ryan never gets his touch back on passes to guys running away from him. Every good pass last night was to someone facing toward him. Only one attempt to someone facing up field and it was way off target. Doesn’t do any good to call the plays if he can’t make the throw.


August 20th, 2011
8:39 am

Since Mr. Blank has taken over he has brought a winning mentality to our city. Thanks Arthur for shaking the thugs out of our organization and in that turning the falcons into a winning breed. Matty is the 8th highest paid athlete in the world. We have a seriously outstanding roster this year, the best ever. Julio will conform and prevail and coming from Saban he’s already a disciplined player. The dynamics of this assembly is genius.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


August 20th, 2011
8:41 am

Same old Atlanta. Take the lead early only to relinquish it and make for a heart attack end. No passion on the bench unlike Jacksonville and Miami. Oh and stop them 1st and 2nd down only to give up big play on 3rd. Just like last year. Wow foreboding for the season.